My last shop review was pretty lengthy (and this one is longer than I intended), with some discussion accompanied by a lot of pictures. In the two weeks since then, I’ve thought about how and why I want to post shop reviews, and come to these conclusions: 1. often when I see a new online shop, I go to my favorite blogs and search the shop name to see if they have experience with it, (sometimes I find good information, but not always), and 2. I want my blog to return efficient and useful results for that kind of search, 3. in the future, it would be cool to have a master list of shops that I recommend filled with links to short shop reviews (when I’m incredibly wealthy and can afford to put face masks all over my body like the stolen faces of my fallen enemies).
I found Crystal Cove Beauty (CCB) through a targeted paid reddit ad. They were offering (and still are, as of August 12th, 2016) 20% off Benton (with the old pricing, at that), CosRx, and Leaders brand products, and have free US shipping over $25. They’re located in SoCal, which means that if I find them to be a reliable shop and they have things I want, especially sheet masks, the convenience of short shipping times will make me a repeat customer. The only downside to buying from California shops is that I have to pay sales taxes as a CA resident, but fast shipping time and free shipping are definitely worth it. I didn’t really find any discussion of them as a shop (aside from a glowing comment on an old reddit post) so I decided to give them a go.
Their selection is mostly things I’ve heard of through blogs, which is promising. It can be frustrating then reading a thorough and excited review and not being able to find the product for sale anywhere. Curating your selection based on popular kbeauty blogs also shows, in my opinion, a willingness to listen to community feedback. I prefer a shop that says “oh, these brands are recommended by independent blogs, I should stock them” over one that says “I’m going to stock these brands, here are lots of affiliated blog posts about why you should love them.”
I ended up placing two orders with them, one of entirely Benton products to get the 20% off, and one of some things I wanted to try from Tosowoong (which I got 10% off on as a first order offer for registering an account). I’ve been on the lookout for a propolis amouple (being fairly disappointed by the Missha Time Revolution blah blah Ampoule thusfar), and have wanted to try their masks as well. When I ordered, CCB had discounts listed for some Tosowoong items, but if I like the masks I will likely repurchase them at full MSRP. That’s how much I liked their practices and customer service.
As I said, I placed two orders. CCB ended up shipping them together, which makes a lot of sense and I appreciated everything arriving at once. I got email notifications very quickly after ordering, and my package shipped the next day. I’m not going to talk about shipping times because really, that’s kind of irrelevant. Shipping is shipping, shops have little control over it. They provided tracking, unsurprisingly.
My items were packed very securely in bubble wrap and shipped to me in a plastic envelope. I can tell that a lot of care was taken to ensure that a roughly-handled package wouldn’t cause damage to the contents, which I really appreciate because sometimes my mail carrier just throws our mail over the gate.
Total order: Tosowoong Propolis Sparkle Ampoule, Pure Aloe Mask Pack (2), Pure Propolis Mask Pack (2), Deep Sea Water Mask Pack, Pure Snail Mask Pack, Pure Green Tea Mask Pack (check out how lovely that packaging is), Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Sheet (4), Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream, and Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel (all of the Benton products I’ve tried before, the steam cream is actually a backup that I wanted to grab before the price increase hits all the shops).
In addition to my two thoughtfully combined orders, CCB added four (yes, four as in “$8 of free masks” four) complimentary sheet masks and TINY CAT STICKIES that come with TINY BOXES FOR THEM TO SIT IN. All of the masks they included are ones that I have been wanting to try, and I can’t wait to test them. If I like them (and I probably will, I’ve heard good things about the brand) I will be rebuying them from Crystal Cove. Seriously, thank you guys. They also included an adorable hand-written note thanking me from my order (and saying that they hoped I visited again soon, which is very, very likely.)
I considered not listing the complimentary masks that they included, because I don’t want to contribute to an online shopping culture that expects (and demands) “free” services and goods as the bare minimum of good customer service. Good customer service does NOT mean “we give you free stuff”, it just means that the shop is efficient, communicative, and able to address issues with any service or goods. “Free” stuff costs money for shops, and I’d rather not receive “free” stuff that hurts a shop’s bottom line. Including complimentary samples goes above and beyond the call of duty for sellers and shops, and I want to acknowledge that. CCB included 1 each of Lovemore Black Pearls True White Mask Sheet, Rosa Hybrida Whitening (“Brightening”) Mask Sheet, Wine Yeast Whitening Mask Sheet, and Pearl Barley & Milk Smoothing Mask Sheet. I am excited to try these… they might take precedence to the Tosowoong in my testing schedule.
(Also, thank you for the tiny cats. I’m going to use them in my daily planner.)
Overall, I had a really good experience with Crystal Cove Beauty. I hope that they continue bringing in products that I enjoy, because I most definitely want to shop with them in the future. I kept wanting to add things to my cart while link-hunting for this review, but noooo I need to actually test these masks first. Once I try the Tosowoong and Lovemore masks out, I’ll be linking to the mini reviews here.
There are no affiliate links in this post. As far as I’m aware, Crystal Cove Beauty does not have an affiliate program.